web analytics
April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



The Maccabees’ Response To ‘World Opinion’

Front-Page-120712

Share Button

The secret of our existence is that we are separated from all other nations. This essential characteristic of the Jewish people was derived from our earliest progenitor, Avraham. Those who become attached to the culture and lifestyle of other nations, God forbid, lose the unique characteristic that distinguishes the Jews from all other nations.

As David HaMelech put it, “Their idols are silver and gold, the handiwork of man. They have a mouth, but cannot speak; they have eyes but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear; they have a nose but cannot smell. Their hand: they cannot feel; their feet: they cannot walk; they cannot utter a sound from their throat. Those who make them should become like them; whoever trusts in them” (Tehillim 115).

We learn this unique quality of Avraham from the pasuk “and the fugitive came and told Avram, the Ivri, who dwelt in the Plains of Mamre…” (Bereishis 14:13). Rashi explains that “the Ivri” means Avram “came from across the river.” ArtScroll comments, based on Bereishis Rabbah 42:8, “Avram has been mentioned several times above, but it is only here that he is called ‘the Ivri,’ because it explains how he had the courage to attack a mighty army. It is because ‘he came from across the river,’ he had demonstrated his faith in God’s promise to him by abandoning his birthplace and going to an unknown land. It was upon this faith in God that he relied when he went to rescue Lot….

“Although he and Sarah cultivated many disciples, they were essentially alone; they would never blend into – or compromise with – the surrounding culture. Abraham was on one side of a moral and spiritual divide and the rest of the world was on the other…. Every Jew…must have within himself the ability to be an ‘ivri,’ to stand alone. God does not need multitudes; He needs those who are ready to remain loyal to His principles and precepts. Even if there is only one couple ready to do so, as in the time of Avraham, that is enough.”

* * * * *

Magen Avraham, the shield of Avraham, protects his children. What is Magen Avraham? Hashem Himself is Avraham’s shield. Do we not say, many times every day, “Blessed are You, Hashem, Shield of Avraham”? As long as we look elsewhere for support and protection, we are saying in effect that we are not relying on Magen Avraham. But that is how we begin every Shemoneh Esrei, with the berachahMagen Avraham.”

Does it matter what the world thinks? Our fate is not influenced one iota by public opinion or news coverage on CNN or the BBC or anywhere else. Do these media have power over us?

Avraham Avinu asked his Father in Heaven for guidance on every move, and he followed the direction from Above to the exclusion of all other influences. That is how he became who he was and that is how we, his children, have survived. “Some [rely on] chariots and some [on] horses, but we call out in the Name of Hashem, our God. They slumped and fell, but we arose and were invigorated” (Tehillim 20).

Yes, we have some friends in the world, but that is not the point. We cannot rely on these friends – not because they are not real, but because of the principle on which the Nation of Israel was founded, which is complete reliance on the Master of the World.

Even our non-Jewish friends, if they are sincere, want us to rely on Hashem and not on them. That is why they respect us. As Moshe Rabbeinu says, “See, I have taught you decrees and ordinances…. You shall safeguard and perform them, for it is your wisdom and discernment in the eyes of the peoples who shall hear all these decrees and who shall say, ‘Surely a wise and discerning people is this great nation’ ” (Devarim 4:6).

Our honor and dignity in the world arises not because we belong to a country club or university that previously did not admit Jews, but because we are servants of God.

* * * * *

And so we come to Chanukah, which occurs in the darkest season of the year and commemorates the intense emunah and bitachon of a tiny band of kohanim who defied all rules of statistical probability, prudence and world opinion. These kohanim trained themselves to become totally oblivious to the “logic” by which the rest of the world conducts its existence.

Share Button

About the Author: Roy Neuberger's latest book, "2020 Vision" (Feldheim), is available in English, Hebrew, Spanish, French and Russian with a Georgian edition in preparation. An e-edition is available at www.feldheim.com. Roy is also the author of "From Central Park to Sinai: How I Found My Jewish Soul" (available in English, Hebrew and Russian, Georgian edition in preparation) and "Worldstorm." Roy and his wife speak publicly on topics related to his books and articles. He can be contacted at roy@tosinai.com or through his websites www.tosinai.com and www.2020visionthebook.com. Roy and his wife speak publicly on topics related to his books and articles. He can be contacted at roy@tosinai.com or through his websites www.tosinai.com and www.2020visionthebook.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

3 Responses to “The Maccabees’ Response To ‘World Opinion’”

  1. Misha Ben-david says:

    Public relations ? Rubbish ! Israel can’t spin the truth enough ways to make the haters happy. As Kanye says ” Haters gonna hate”. Anti-semitism is the problem and PR can’t make that go away.

  2. Chaiya Eitan says:

    However, sometimes the truth can make a difference. There have been people who have changed when presented with irrefutable proof.

  3. Eve Folley says:

    Enjoyed the article n agree that all God’s children should continue depending on Him n not man. God Bless Israel

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Dueling Shofarim
Mass Shofar Blast Against Anti-Israel Enabling on April 29
Latest Indepth Stories
Rabbi Auerbach seen at a ceremony for the students who have finished the reading of the Babylonian talmud, at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem on July 31, 2012.

Since Torah is the great equalizer, the great reconciler of divergent but valid opinions, this is also the place where common ground is reached.

Dueling Shofarim

Some American Jews feel their community has been hijacked from within by groups waging war against Israel seemingly in the name of the Jewish people.

Al-Aksa Mosque was claimed to be the site from which Mohammed ascended to Heaven, but it was built nearly 50 years after Mohammed died.

Jerusalem only seems important in the Islamic world when non-Muslims control or capture the city.

Israeli police enter the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City to disperse stone-throwing Palestinian protesters.

Jordan’s king is adding fuel to the fire on the Temple Mount, blaming Israel for violence by Muslim Arab rioters.

At Brandeis, much of what counts as Western civilization got cold feet and won’t stand with Hirsi Ali.

But the lesson from this meditation is that hidden behind the anti-semitic act is the greatest light.

As support of their messianic dream, Halevi and Antepli approve dishonoring Hirsi Ali as a ‘renegade.’

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

More Articles from Roy S. Neuberger
Front-Page-031414

The unwarranted hatred among us that caused the destruction of the Second Temple clearly still plagues us.

Front-Page-011014

At the end of the harvest, winter begins. The earth becomes cold and hard, nights are long, and the sun seems far away in the southern sky. The sap ceases to flow in the trees. But in this season of temporary “death” Hashem sends down harbingers of coming life in the form of tal u’matar livrachah – dew and rain for a blessing – upon the earth.

“Logically” speaking, after the millennia of hatred and destruction directed against us, there should not be one Jew in the world today who still keeps the Torah.

They were lining up for gas masks in Israel.

Apparently, at the very time of year we are supposed to be full of simcha, Hashem wants us to be aware of the possibility of danger. Indeed, during the Yom Tov of Sukkos, we read cataclysmic haftaras dealing with the ultimate war, the Milchemes Gog Umagog. Where does that war take place? In the Holy Land, of course, where the eyes of the world are always focused.

At the mikveh they were discussing Egypt.

So many things seem to be unraveling. It’s not just Egypt but the entire Middle East. No, it’s not just the Middle East; it’s the entire world.

What is the relationship between Pesach and Shavuos?
Rabbi Naftali Jaeger, rosh yeshiva of Sh’or Yoshuv, relates in the name of the Ishbitzer Rebbe a striking metaphor:

“In those days, when King Achashveirosh sat on his royal throne which was in Shushan the capital, in the third year of his reign, he made a feast for all his officials and servants, the army of Persia and Medea; the nobles and officials of the provinces being present, when he displayed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honor of his splendorous majesty for many days, a hundred and eighty days.

“Israel has bad public relations.”

This is the perennial cry. “Israel must improve its image to convince the world of the justness of its cause.”

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/the-maccabees-response-to-world-opinion/2012/12/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: